Purpose: To assess the ability of color Doppler flow imaging to help evaluate the response of breast cancer to medical therapy.
Materials and methods: Thirty-four patients with large or centrally located breast carcinomas were studied. All tumors had been treated medically. Tumor size was assessed at clinical examination, volume at B-mode ultrasound (US), and vascularity at color Doppler flow imaging. The changes seen during the treatment course were cross compared and correlated with final tumor response.
Results: In 97 of the 126 treatment cycles (77%), changes in vascularity were concordant with changes in the size of the tumors (reduction in the vascularity with response to therapy and an increase in tumor size with lack of response or progression). Changes seen at color Doppler flow imaging occurred at least 4 weeks before those seen at clinical and B-mode US examination in 40% and 38% of cases, respectively. Changes in vascularity could be assessed in every patient.
Conclusion: Color Doppler flow imaging can help assessed and predict the response of breast cancer to medical treatment.